The pandemic forced a lot of people into uncomfortable positions. For many parents, they had to embrace the role of teacher for children who were not enamored with distance learning.
“Oh, my God, now what are we going to do?” recalled Maria Lopez. “I was sad and scared.”
Lopez was scared for her then 12-year-old son, Alex.
“He was kind of sad because, in the beginning, he was missing his friends,” Maria said.
The single mother said she was worried because her son has Down Syndrome, and she didn’t know if she could help Alex as well as the teachers with specialized training.
Maria was wrong.
“He’s been awesome,” Maria said. “Everything is great.”
Maria said she took shifts at a grocery store that began at 2 a.m. so she could be home before noon to work with Alex.
“We were working every day, maybe sometimes four hours, three hours, six hours after his [online] classes,” Maria said. “I started helping him a lot. I don’t know how I became a teacher.”
Maria smiled as she said that last part. She praised Alex’s teacher Erica Paine for preparing her and Alex’s grandmother to help Alex at home.
“I feel much better," Maria said. "I feel so happy. At the same time, helping him see all the results,. Finally, he’s able to write by himself. His Spanish improved, like, 80% or more.”
Maria said Alex will attend a special program in high school next year.